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In Work (Reading, Mass.)

BACKGROUND : Human-machine teaming (HMT) typically combines perspectives from systems engineering, artificial intelligence (AI) and human-centered design (HCD), to achieve human systems integration (HSI) through the development of an integrative systems representation that encapsulates human and machine attributes and properties.

OBJECTIVE : The study explores the main factors contributing to performance, trust and collaboration between expert human operators and increasingly autonomous machines, by developing and using the PRODEC method. PRODEC supports HSI by improving the agile HCD of advanced sociotechnical systems at work, which qualify as human-machine teamwork.

METHODS : PRODEC incorporates scenario-based design and human-in-the-loop simulation at design and development time of a sociotechnical system. It is associated with the concept of digital twin. A systemic representation was developed and used, associated with metrics for the evaluation of human-machine teams.

RESULTS : The study is essentially methodological. In practice, PRODEC has been used and validated in the MOHICAN project that dealt with the integration of pilots and virtual assistants onboard advanced fighter aircraft. It enabled the development of appropriate metrics and criteria of performance, trust, collaboration, and tangibility (i.e., issues of complexity, maturity, flexibility, stability, and sustainability), which were associated with the identification of emergent functions that help redesign and recalibrate the air combat virtual assistant as well as fighter pilot training.

CONCLUSION : PRODEC addresses the crucial issue of how AI systems could and should influence requirements and design of sociotechnical systems that support human work, particularly in contexts of high uncertainty. However, PRODEC is still work in progress and advanced visualization techniques and tools are needed to increase physical and figurative tangibility.

Boy Guy André, Morel Chloé


Integrative human and machine systemic representation, collaboration, flexibility, human systems integration, scenario-based design, trust